Is eBay stealing your sales?

The first thing most sellers do when sales are slow is blame eBay for glitches, errors, and not being mean.  If you are a seller, you are an entrepreneur.  To be a successful entrepreneur, you can’t cast blame; you have to find a way to overcome and a solution to the problem.   There are several things you can do to increase your sales, but first you have to look at trends.

A great tool to understand what the sales trend in eBay are is your business performance tab in the Seller Hub.  If you are down 15% but eBay is only down 5 percent in comparing categories, then you may need to make an adjustment.

Remember, the sales trend only shows your highest selling category, not all of your categories combined.

If you are in business performance, click on Summary in the left hand corner and then view the link that says “Find listings with fewest impressions.”  Review your listings and see if any adjustments can be made.  Look at the keywords, pictures, descriptions, your handling time, and any errors.   If you think they are all good, do a bulk edit and make some changes to reset the listing visibility.  When you make changes, eBay treats the listing like it is new and may increase the search ranking.

The longer an item is listed with few views or conversions, the farther down the search ranking it goes.

I hear people talk about resetting the RSS feed, and this is always a good idea.  Just remember, the RSS feed will only affect outside searches like on Google, Bing and Yahoo.  Although outside sales make up probably less than 5% of my sales, every little bit helps.

Before casting blame on eBay because the 2nd biggest online sales platform is “out to get you”, look at all of your listings like a customer does and see if there is anything that can be done.  I like to occasionally open eBay in Incognito or Private Viewing in my web browser so it isn’t using my saved cookies.  Search for your items and see how they rank, where your competitors are ranking, and for errors.

Don’t be afraid to make changes.  If you search and see that 5 of your competitors are ranking higher than you in the search, see why.  Are they priced cheaper?  Are they offering free shipping?  Are their handling times faster than yours?  Do they have better pictures? Do they use better keywords in the title? And starting in October, are they offering guaranteed delivery?

Did you know that structured data makes a difference in the search results?  This is something that eBay has started focusing more and more on.  Putting the item specifics in the listing instead of the description helps eBay crawl for better keyword placement and allows the customer to sort items based on exactly what they are looking for.  If you are selling an iPhone 6 128GB but don’t have 128GB in the item specifics, you are only hurting your chances of selling your phone.  When a customer searches for the phone, they are given the opportunity to only show the size they want, they may choose to only show phones listed with 128gb.  If yours is in the “other” category because you failed to put the size in item specifics, that customer won’t see your listing.  The same goes with clothes sizes, specifics for tools or electronics, etc.

But I have a 1000 listings and I don’t have time to go and check them all?

I know it can be overwhelming to go back and fix listings when you have so many.  The only way to do it, is to just do it.  If you spend 2 hours a day listing new items, then only spend an hour and 45 minutes a day listing and 15 minutes a day tweaking listings.  If you aren’t selling the inventory you already have listed, you are only wasting money that could be spent on buying more inventory that sells.

So, before spending an hour on the phone with eBay customer service about how they are not doing their job only for them to say “everything looks good on our end”, step back and look at your listings and see how you can improve.  None of us are perfect and we all have tweaks we can do to increase our business.  That is part of being an entrepreneur.   And remember, not everything will be sold right away, sometimes you have to wait for that special customer to search for your one of a kind item.


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